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ADVERTISEMENT OF THE AMERICAN PUBLISHERS.
That a work has reached a third edition in England, although one evidence of its merit, may not always be a safe or satisfactory reason for its republication in this country. But in regard to the volume herewith sent forth, the subject of which it treats is of such general interest, and the ability with which it has been prepared is so marked, and has been so universally acknowledged, that the publishers cannot hesitate to believe they are doing good service to the cause of sound theological learning in making it accessible to a large class of American readers, who in all probability would not otherwise be able to possess it.
The parable, whilst it is amongst the earliest modes of conveying truth to the mind, is at the same time the most effective. Never losing its vigor by age or repetition, it convinces sooner than logical argument, and strikes the imagination more readily than a living example.* From the fact that the parables of our Lord form a very considerable portion of his recorded teaching, and that he was accustomed by them to enforce the highest moral precepts, to illustrate important points doctrine, and to give prophetical intimation of future events relating to himself and his mission, it is obvious that a competent knowledge of this portion of the Gospels, while it is essential to the Christian teacher, is of the greatest value to every member of the Church. And amply will these sacred fictions repay the most constant perusal. Attractive in the highest degree, even to childhood, while as yet like Samuel the little hearer “does not know the Lord, nor is the word of the Lord yet revealed to him” (1 Sam. iii. 7), they are the delight of riper manhood, and never fail to offer to the attentive reader, beauties to admire,
* Hæc autem docendi ratio, quæ facit ad illustrationem antiquis seculis plurimum adhibebatur. Ut Hieroglyphica literis, ita Parabolæ argumentis erant antiquiores. Atque hodie etiam et semper, eximius est et fuit Parabolarum vigor; cum nec argumenta tam perspicua nec vera exempla tam apta, esse possint.-Baconi De Auge mentis Scientiarum, lib. 2, cap. 13. [ ' 4
principles to ponder, and examples to allure. Thus do they illustrate the wisdom and benevolence of that Heavenly Teacher “who spake as never man spake,” and exhibit a skill in the statement of moral principles to which no merely human intellect was ever equal, and a power and beauty of illustration which no poet or orator ever approached.
In the present work the parables of our Lord are collected together, compared, and explained; and by a judicious use of learning, and a fertile and happy employment of illustrative comment, they are rendered eminently profitable “ for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and instruction in righteousness." “ As a mere delight to the understanding,” says Dr. Arnold, “I know of none greater than thus bringing together the different and scattered jewels of God's word, and arranging them in one perfect group. For whatever is the pleasure of contemplating wisdom absolutely inexhaustible, employed on no abstract matter of science, but on our very own nature, opening the secrets of our hearts, and disclosing the whole plan of our course in life; of the highest wisdom clothed in a garb of most surpassing beauty; such is the pleasure to the mere understanding of searching into the words of Christ, and blending them into the image of his perfect will respecting us.” If the understanding can be thus delighted and improved, can it fail but that at the same time the heart will be made better? Mr. Trench, while informing the understanding, has never neglected the opportunity to excite the affections, to regulate them, and lead them to seek the blessed influences of that Holy Spirit which can alone purify them and fit them for the service of God. These “scattered jewels of God's word,” of which Dr. Arnold speaks, he has brought together, and fixed them in a setting, not worthy indeed of their richness and lustre—what silver, or gold even, of human workmanship could possess such value ?—but the framework is yet skilfully constructed, and is wrought by a devout as well as a learned and earnest mind, and will hold its pearls of wisdom so that we may have the opportunity of gazing upon them in their concentrated form with delight and profit.
Under these convictions of the importance of the subject and the successful manner in which it has been treated by Mr. Trench, this volume is now commended to the notice of American readens by the Publishers.